Action from Landlords needed by 6th May 2012. Legislation under the Housing Act 2004 for the protection of tenant deposits taken for Assured Shorthold Tenancies has been amended by the new Localism Act 2011 which came into force on 6th April 2012.
In summary, the changes mean that a tenancy deposit must be protected with one of the three government approved schemes and the tenant must be provided with the specified information from the Housing (Tenancy Deposits)(Prescribed Information) Order 2007 within 30 days of the deposit being received. Failure to do so will mean the tenant is then able to go to Court to seek the return or the protection of their deposit, with the Landlord facing a penalty of one to three times the deposit amount.
Crucially, the new provisions apply to any AST in existence on 6 April 2012, irrespective of when it began or when the deposit was taken. The new provisions do, however, give Landlords 30 days to ensure their tenant deposits comply with the Act, so in effect Landlords have until 6th May 2012 to ensure all tenancy deposits for ASTs are duly protected and the tenant notified.